Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says a joint approach by Dunedin
and Auckland that aims to fight new rules for earthquake-prone
buildings shows how ''clumsy'' the legislation is.
Mr Cull and Auckland Mayor Len Brown last week released a
joint letter arguing against aspects of the Building
(Earthquake-Prone Buildings) Amendment Bill, which is before
a government select committee.
The Bill would give councils five years to assess nearly
200,000 buildings - including all non-residential and
high-rise, multi-unit apartment buildings - for earthquake
Owners of earthquake-prone buildings would then get another
15 years to upgrade to at least 34% of building code
The Dunedin City Council has already warned it would face a
$5.6 million bill if forced to assess about 4200 buildings,
and some building owners could abandon heritage properties
rather than pay for upgrades.
In Auckland, the total cost of upgrading buildings could top
$3 billion, despite modelling showing there would be no
significant safety improvement in the seismically low-risk
Super City, the New Zealand Herald reported earlier this
Mr Cull yesterday told the Otago Daily Times the joint
approach underscored that concerns prompted by the Bill were
shared across New Zealand.
While the two cities' specific concerns were different, each
faced significant costs that were ''way out of proportion to
the risks'' as a result of the ''clumsy, one-size-fits-all
legislation'', he said.
''This is applying an extremely blunt instrument to
everybody, regardless of the risk and regardless of the
benefits. In their case, it'll cost them a lot of money. In
our case, it could cost us a lot of buildings.
''I think it really raises the question about whether any
council is going to be advantaged by this,'' he said.
Mr Brown, in a statement, said the two councils had
identified ''common issues which we believe need serious
''It is clear that further work is needed and we encourage
select committee members to act on these submissions before
the Bill is passed into law.''
The pair's letter followed earlier submissions by councils
including the DCC and a joint Southern Councils submission.
Mr Cull said he expected to present the DCC's submission to
the select committee later this year.